The Birth Interview Project consists of 17 simple questions designed to help mothers process their birth story & share it with others. All mothers are invited to take part in this project. Born out of Joy’s desire to help women discover, process and express the feelings surrounding their birth experiences, The Birth Interview Project strives to offer a platform for mothers and readers alike to share and be heard, to search and to discover, to identify and to heal, and to exhort and remember. The views and opinions expressed here are unique to each woman who takes part in the Birth Interview Project and may not reflect the values of the blog author.
Hi readers! Here is Beth’s fifth interview! If you want to catch up and get a little more familiar with Beth, go read her first interview by clicking here, her second interview here, her third interview here and her fourth interview here. Enjoy!
Please give a brief description of yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us.
I am a mother of five telling about my youngest child’s birth.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
I was due 12/22 and Rebekah was born 12/15.
What was Rebekah’s weight and length?
She weighed 7 pounds 6 inches and was 21.75 inches. My tallest one yet!
Please give a brief, one paragraph synopsis of your birth.
We had attempted a non-medical induction on 12/13 but we went home after the contractions didn’t build. This was disappointing but kind of exciting, too. The last two had been born on “my schedule.” This one was going to be on her own timetable.
The next day was my 13 year wedding anniversary. I pumped and walked and took baths. Nothing.
The 15th I slept in and had Braxton Hicks off and on. I took a nap after lunch and when I woke up I took a warm bath. That’s when the contractions became established.
We went to the birth center and my new friend, Joy, met us there. She quietly flitted around the room readying all the important supplies and machinery. I immediately asked if they would start the water for the tub. By reading my other birth stories you can clearly see I love the tub!
I spoke to Jean about her wedding and her Christmas plans with her new husband. It was good to catch up with her because I hadn’t seen her at my appointments in months.
She checked me and we decided to break my water. I was allowed into the tub and it was heavenly. But a little hot! I think baby girl was warm, too, because she came out very quickly after we slipped into the tub. My oldest son almost didn’t make it into the room in time since he had gone to the Walgreens next door to buy a newspaper from the birthday (which is our tradition). But he did make it back and was able to see his youngest sister born. He was even brave enough to cut the cord. I was so glad to have him there with me.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
I re-read Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize and read the scripture references from the book many times.
I read dozens of birth stories and many wonderful books by midwives. I just loved everything about birth and pregnancy. This helped me prepare for many different circumstances knowing that many women had conquered fear and disbelief to achieve the dream of motherhood.
I avoided a positive of Group B Strep by taking major doses of garlic and probiotics. Labor and delivery was so much easier without having to deal with antibiotics.
I also took megadoses of red raspberry leaf. This is my miracle herb to which I attribute my extremely short extremely light postpartum bleeding. Multiple children does not have to mean a weakened uterus and longer healing. This is also part of why I think my labor was so peaceful.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
I loved laughing and talking during labor. I just loved having a natural experience that was loud and intense. It was quite loving and tender how this baby came into the world.
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I did not like pooping in the birth tub. There I said it. I am not embarrassed. I just don’t like that it messed up all my good action shots.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
I was surprised that my labor was the least intense it’s ever been. I was so blessed to have a baby in the right position being pushed out by a souped-up uterus. Wonderful experience with no pain…intensity at the end…but honestly no pain.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
I would have been friends with Joy before the labor if I had the choice. This might have made it more comfortable for both of us when she was scooping my poo from the tub or wiping my bottom later.
What do you remember the most about your birth?
I remember being calm and at peace. I remember laughing and chatting. I remember Joy being the most tender birth assistant ever. (Well, Lynne was my assistant for the other two and just let me say I would not ask her to “massage” my worst enemy.)
How was your birth experience different than what you imagined it to be like?
I was so much more at peace than I ever thought possible. I am amazed that so much work doesn’t have to require so much pain.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
I was on a cloud. I had just experienced what people make fun of. Birth without pain? What a joke! What an amazing, beautiful joke.
How would you describe your recovery?
My recovery deserves to be in the Guinness book. I was in pantyliners on day three and that didn’t last long. Amazing!
How has your perspective of your birth experience with Rebekah changed in the last 14 months since the first week of having her?
I still cannot believe that Rebekah’s birth was the best one yet. Even though my body is getting older my births are getting more and more remarkable.
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
I learned that I don’ t have to have everything planned and scheduled. I learned that this birth might have been the best yet because I didn’t have a timeline in my head that day.
Would you recommend having a natural childbirth or medicated childbirth to other women?
I want to help educated women with my stories to choose the birth that’s right for them.
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
Thank you for reading my story. I am so thankful to be a mother. It’s just a miracle that God would pick me to raise children.